Bedsheets made me appreciate Lynch’s ‘Dune’

For the past week or so, reviews/reactions of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune have been coming from its premiere in Venice and the word is… quite good! Whether or not that will translate into box office gold is something we won’t know for another month, but based on this early word, I am guessing Villeneuve and his cast are feeling more optimistic than say, David Lynch and HIS cast were in the weeks leading up to the release of their 1984 adaptation, which was delayed not due to a pandemic (Villeneuve’s Dune was originally scheduled for 2020) but production issues that forced it out of its planned summer date and into December of that year. And early word was… not kind, to put it mildly.

But it’s not the fairest comparison, because unlike Lynch, Villeneuve isn’t trying to cram Frank Herbert’s dense novel into one film – his is about twenty minutes longer but only covers half as many pages, a luxury Lynch wasn’t offered. The new film will allow audiences to get soaked into Herbert’s vast galaxy without having to race through the story, meaning it will likely be easier for them to follow on top of it. While extended versions exist if you poke around, the version of the 1984 film that had to go out in theaters was 137 minutes – a runtime dictated by producer Dino De Laurentiis from the start as that was proven to be the maximum length a movie could be without having to lose a showing each day. 


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